(MIAMI, FL) January 8, 2014 — Uvaggio, the highly awaited wine bar that will soon bring chic European influenced atmosphere to Miracle Mile, has on boarded a first-class sommelier with over 20 years experience in the food and beverage industry. Heath Porter began washing dishes at a truck stop at the age of fifteen, eventually performing every job in the restaurant/resort setting, and ultimately evolving into roles of general manager, wine and spirits director, and an advanced level sommelier in 5 star and 5 diamond resorts.
Heath says, “Hell yeah, I’m fired up about Uvaggio restaurant, it’s going to be awesome. We’re going to carry some wacky, fun ‘juice,’ and bottles that you don’t see everywhere. All these wines scream of their region and food friendliness. But we’re not going to be stupid with a lot of pretentious nonsense and wine geek-speak. We want to turn people on to rockin’ bottles with the bottom-line being food, friends, and fun with top-notch service and bad ass food. We’re writing the menu around the wines to allow them to better complement each other. Our guests can look forward to tons of tastings, classes, guest wine makers, and any pigs we can get our grubby hands on. Any night we could be serving up to 30 or 40 bottles open by the glass, whole fish or hogs, and heavy metal or Neil Diamond. Come on by, I need someone to drink with!!!!”
It’s not all fun and games for Heath. Heath is an all-around food and wine connoisseur. He has taught food and wine pairing classes for Kapiolani Community College, has written wine articles for various publications, has been guest sommelier at World of Pinot Noir and Naples Winter Wine Festival and Auction, has been on the Board of Directors for Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, and has been the Chair Person for multiple fundraising wine tastings-orchestrates wine events for charities, such as Breast Cancer balls, Heart Association, Salvation Army, and Red Cross.
Heath’s honors include best young sommelier Pacific region 2004, Chaine des Rotisseurs; National finalist, young sommelier competition 2004, Chaine des Rotisseurs; Certified Sommelier, Court of Master Sommeliers 2007; Advanced Sommelier, Court of Master Sommeliers 2009. Despite all the awards he has garnered in his career as a sommelier, Heath remains humble. He lets his energy and creativity speak for him.
Craig DeWald, owner of Uvaggio and wine and food enthusiast, is ecstatic to have a skilled, award-winning sommelier bring his expertise and quirky personality to the Uvaggio team. “Brace yourself for mind-boggling wine and food pairings, brought to you exclusively from wine lovers,” said an eager DeWald.
Located at 70 Miracle Mile in Coral Gables, Uvaggio is expected to open in the next couple of months, as a vibrant, sophisticated and comfortable café, providing exceptional service, delicious food, earthy wines and memorable experiences.
Craig DeWald was born in Buffalo, New York but grew up most of his life in northern California. Craig has lived in San Francisco, New York City, Salt Lake City, London, and Miami. Being raised near the Napa and Sonoma wine regions in California and traveling the globe, Craig developed a love of fine wines and foods.
After spending 26 years working at American Express as a Human Resources professional, Craig needed a new challenge in his life and decided to pursue his long desire of operating his own business. He fell in love with Miami almost 20 years ago and chose Coral Gables as the location to open Uvaggio because it captures the essence of a European high street with people walking, enjoying restaurants and boutique shopping.